Had a great time at the UK’s annual Sci-Fi and Fantasy Convention (Follycon) in Harrogate. Met some old friends and made some new ones. Learned a lot and had a few new ideas sparked. Delighted to say that my friend David Allan got his first publishing contract. Congrats, David!
Wait! This is not turning into a cat-thread. It’s a one-off, I swear! Let me explain…
We’re currently looking after a cat for one of our daughters but had to spend Christmas in the UK. So we asked a friend to cat-sit. After a few days, text messages began to arrive from the cat. Clearly, she was writing a diary and sending it to us, her “pride.” I share these with you…
I love words. Hey, I’m a writer: if I didn’t love words, I’d be a censor, a redactor of government documents who gets his kicks from defacing them.
I love the truth in words. If I didn’t, I’d be a politician or still working in marketing.
Sounds shaped into words are the basics of spoken language. The purpose of language is communication. (Okay, Groot in “Guardians of the Galaxy” communicates with a single word, his name, its specific meaning conveyed by varying emphasis. Special case. He’s a fictional plant. Forget about it.) Continue reading →
So much catching up to do now my I’m back home! The world just keeps on turning, even if I’m not watching it. (Quantum physicists are invited to comment below on that observation.)
My novels’ distribution network continues to grow effortlessly! I use the Mention app to notify me if my name or my book titles appear on anyone’s web pages. No, it’s not an ego issue, it’s… professional… market awareness… all that stuff.
Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been running an Instafreebie promotion (where science fiction readers sign up to my newsletter and receive a free copy of my novel, “FACES OF JANUS“).
Then Google Alerts notified me that the novel was available on a few pirate sites. I checked and found that one site claimed not only to have my novels but also every anthology I ever was published in. Some charge for their copies (and keep the income). Others hand out copies for free. Forever.
I explored a few pirate sites’ extensive book lists. Some of these pirates claim to have as many ebooks as Amazon! Most likely, these were cover shots only and downloaders would get a nice virus instead of my book. (Be warned!)
As my free offer was limited in time and scope, I was at first unhappy about this. But I decided to ignore it, because… Continue reading →
“Wattpad is an online storytelling community where users post written works such as articles, stories, fan fiction, and poems, either through the website or the mobile app…
As of April 2014: [Yes, 2014]
85% of its traffic and usage comes from mobile devices,
the site has 35 million unique visitors per month,
there are over 100,000 story uploads per day,
there have been over two million writers.
… According to the profiles visible on the site, many of these authors are teenagers.”
I took a look and found it full of YA, Romance and Undead Fantasy (not my genres), mostly written by teens. Still, I thought I’d give it a try and uploaded some short stories (horror, hard scifi…) to test the waters. I had a reasonable readership response, but few Likes or comments. Okay (shrug), I’m not Rowling or Atwood or Howey (yet). I’m not going to get swarms of eager readers seeking out every word I electronically utter (yet).
It has been a long journey, but here I stand on the verge of publishing my first novel.
I always wanted to write, but my first High School English teacher convinced me I was barely literate. I think he resented me being taller than him, as a later (taller) teacher promoted me from bottom of the class to (almost) pole position.
It was my final year of school and my small fantasies had been strangled. Hurrah for education! Continue reading →